When it comes to writing for charities and non-profits, you need to get your message across loud and clear. But with so many causes jostling for people’s attention, how do you cut through the noise and become the issue that everyone wants to get behind?
1. Be relatable
Strike a chord. Know who you’re writing for and really connect with them. Invest time in target audience research and find out who you’re talking to and what motivates them.
What’s in it for them? They need to feel good about getting on side with this cause. Ask them questions, be real, use personal experiences and an authentic voice – being forced and fake is an instant turn-off.
Give people a sense of belonging. They want to feel part of something that inspires them if you’re going to mobilise them to get involved with your cause or support your organisation.
2. Make people feel something
You want them to feel good about getting behind your cause, so get them hooked in with a powerful opener. You might want them to laugh, you might want them to cry… but above all you want them to feel something!
• Be heart wrenching and passionate
• Tap into nostalgia or personal experience
• Use fun and entertaining language
• Be compelling
3. But you shouldn’t tell them what they should feel
Don’t be preachy or patronising, be respectful, don’t make false promises or assume what they know or feel. Be persuasive, but not pushy.
Not “You should…” but more “Here’s how you could…”
Avoid things like “You’re bound to agree with me…” and instead try “If you’re anything like me…”
And replace commands like “Stop doing X…” by planting an idea like “Imagine what life would be like if you were free from X…”
Let people decide for themselves – empower them with the facts.
4. Honesty is key
Keep the tone straight-up and direct, matter of fact – be clear – it’s not always about how clever you can be with words. Getting the right message across is absolutely key here, not your mad skills with a thesaurus.
Build trust with your audience. What evidence do you have? You need to build credibility for the issue by using:
• personal stories
5. Get straight to the point
Your writing needs to be punchy and cut through the noise. Keep it short, snappy and energetic. This is not the time for small-talk.
Re-read what you’ve written, edit out any waffle, then come back later to hone it down again. This way you’ll get really badass at streamlining your sentences.
Avoid large unwieldy blocks of texts, and break things up using sub heads, bullet points and pull quotes.
6. UP beat…
If your writing is sunny, creative and positive, then that will shine out of your work.
Positivity is infectious and energising copy provides hope and motivation. If you’ve made people feel something, they’ll want to do something about it. Don’t leave them hanging!
And importantly, leave them with super clear ways of taking action and sharing that message with their friends.
7. Be bold
Be bold and confident in your messaging and you’ll earn a reputation for integrity.
Here’s an example. We worked with education consultancy Barton Carlyle to develop and create their distinctive brand, with a strong message that education transforms individuals and communities. From this simple premise, we created a corporate video that brings Barton Carlyle closer to its main audiences.
How? We used a combination of pithy facts and simple but powerful messages that truly inspires. Give it a watch at the top of this post and let us know what you think…